GOP senators: We want vote on any North Korea deal
Republican senators said on Tuesday that they want the Trump administration to submit any final deal between the United States and North Korea to Congress for a vote.
The push for a congressional role comes as Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed an agreement committing the United States to unspecified “security guarantees” in exchange for a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.
“Yeah, assuming there is a final agreement, they’ve indicted that they would bring that agreement to us in the form of a treaty,” GOP Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the Foreign Relations Committee chairman, said on Tuesday.
Sending any agreement to the Senate in the form of a treaty would require the deal to get bipartisan support and win over two-thirds of the chamber. The Obama-era State Department rankled congressional Republicans when it defined the Iran nuclear deal as a “nonbinding agreement” instead of a treaty.
Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) added that both countries are “early in the process” but if the administration is able to lock down an agreement it should be sent to Congress.
“I think when you’re talking about something as profound as maybe ending a war that we’ve been in for about 70 years … I think it should take congressional action to solidify it,” he added.
Sen. John Cornyn (Texas), the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, said separately on Tuesday that he believed the administration “should” submit the deal to Congress. Meanwhile, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told NBC’s “Today” that he not only wanted “to see the details, I want to vote on them.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo indicated earlier this month that the administration intended to give a document to Congress for their approval.
Republicans have been cautiously supportive of the talks with North Korea, while skeptical that Kim will ultimately agree to denuclearize. Meanwhile, top Democrats have ripped the talks.
“What the U.S. has gained is vague and unverifiable at best. What North Korea has gained, however, is tangible and lasting. … We’ve legitimized a brutal dictator who’s starved his own people,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said from the Senate floor.
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